Frequently Asked Questions

Am I eligible to take part in the PAL scheme?

By clicking on the Registration button we will ask you a few simple questions to make sure you are suitable to take part. If you are:

  • aged between 16-65 years old;
  • based at Dundonald House or Castle Buildings;
  • are able to walk at moderate pace for at least 15 minutes in one go; and
  • have never received advice from your GP not to exercise

... then you are eligible to participate. We are looking for 400 people to take part in this innovative scheme.

What do I have to do to register?

Registration is very simple. Firstly, read the Participant Information Sheet carefully so that you know what is involved in the scheme. If you have any questions, then please do not hesitate to contact us and we will do our best to answer them. Once you have read the Participant Information Sheet and you are happy to take part then click on the Registration button. Here you will be asked to choose a username to create your own personal account. Following this, we will ask you to complete some personal information about yourself to ensure that you are eligible to take part in the scheme. You will be asked for your contact details so that we can get in touch with you to let you know if you are suitable to take part in the scheme. We will also ask you for some information regarding your age, employment status and any medical conditions that might stop you from taking part. This information is held confidentially under the Data Protection Act 1998 by Queen's University Belfast. Be assured that it will not be passed on to any third party or your employer.

Does taking part in the PAL scheme cost me anything?

No, taking part will not cost you a penny (or a Euro or a cent!). If eligible, you will receive your PAL card in the post (free of charge). You will require access to the internet in order to visit the website to look at our health promotion advice, use the tools to help you change your physical activity habits and view how well you are doing in terms of the amount of physical activity you have done. The only other things you need are a sensible pair of shoes and 30 minutes per day to get active!

What do I do if I lose or damage my PAL card?

We urge you to treat your PAL card with as much care and attention as you do your credit card! However, at the PAL scheme we know we are all prone to little accidents. If you lose or damage your card, simply contact us and we will post you out a new one.

What do I do if my PAL card is not working properly?

The wonders of technology! It should be very unlikely, but if you do experience problems where your PAL card does not appear to be registering your hard work then please contact us, including your PAL card number, and we will help sort out the problem quickly and efficiently so that you can get back on track.

What do I do if I think a sensor isn't working?

It is very unlikely as there is a back-up system. A light will flash and you will hear an audible bleep when you swipe your PAL card across a sensor. However, if you don't see or hear either of these and you think a sensor isn't working, check your account to see if your physical activity has registered and then contact us with your PAL card number, the sensor location and when you swiped your card, and we can make any changes to your account and send the team out to check everything is working.

What do I do if I suffer an injury while being active or feel unwell?

Again this is something that is very unlikely to happen but if it does we want to hear about it. Please record any incidents of injury or feeling unwell while undertaking physical activity as part of this scheme by clicking on the Be Careful, Stay Safe link. This section also contains tips on how to stay safe and injury free.

Will any physical activity I do that does not involve my PAL card count?

We encourage you to do as much physical activity as you can. Any physical activity that you do will count towards improving your health. However, we are not able to track and display it on your own personal webpage. You can use the Planning Tool to write in when you have done physical activity not using the PAL card. This will help keep you motivated and you will be able to see just how much you are doing.

What do I do if I forget my username/password?

If you forget your user name or password, click on the request new password link and type in your e-mail address. You will be sent a new one-time password that you can use to log in and change your password. If you continue to experience problems, just contact us and we will try to sort it out as quickly as possible.

What will the personal information I provide be used for?

We want to know how beneficial the scheme is in terms of increasing your physical activity levels, and in improving your health and mental health. In order to do that we need to ask everyone a number of questions. These questionnaires are quick and easy to complete and can all be done in your own time. The results of the study will be published in a scientific journal. You will not be identified in any publication. All information that is collected about you during the course of the scheme will be kept strictly confidential, and will not be passed onto anyone else.

What do I do if I no longer want to take part and would like to cancel my account?

No problem. You are free to withdraw from the scheme at any time, without giving a reason. All we ask is that you return your PAL card. We may still keep in contact and ask you to fill out some questionnaires. Please return your PAL card to the following address: Dr Ruth Hunter, Centre for Public Health, Queen's University Belfast, Institute of Clinical Sciences B, Royal Victoria Hospital, Grosvenor Road, Belfast, BT12 6BJ.